Great news! Our risk of breast cancer has dropped by 30 percent in the past 25 years, and it continues to go down, thanks to earlier detection, better treatment and our positive lifestyle changes. And experts now say these simple strategies could reduce your risk of breast cancer by 67 percent or more.
Munch on Nuts
Did you have 1⁄2 cup of nuts today? If so, your breast cancer risk is already on track to plunge by 67 percent, suggests research in the journal Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation. Experts say these crunchy treats are packed with healthy fats and minerals, which energize the cancer-killing immune cells already in your bloodstream.
Your Pretty Bowls Help!
Ceramic, porcelain and glass bowls don’t contain BPA-the chemical in plastics that mimics estrogen, encouraging the growth of breast cancer cells, so UCLA researchers suggest using them to store food whenever possible.
Sleep in Total Darkness
Covering up anything in your bedroom that emits light-cellphone, alarm clock, hearing aid dryer-could cut your breast cancer risk by 34 percent, report researchers in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. Explains study co-author Simone Perna, Ph.D., when your bedroom is dark, you produce a flood of melatonin, the sleep hormone that also blocks the growth of suspicious breast cells.
Greens and Green Tea
One cup of spinach, lettuce or kale and one mug of green tea daily can cut breast cancer risk by 40 percent, five studies suggest. Says breast surgeon Christine Horner, M.D., they’re packed with compounds (carotenoids and EGCG) that block the growth of precancerous cells, plus tamp down estradiol, the most breast-irritating form of estrogen.
Increase Vitamin D-3
Taking 3,000 IU of vitamin D-3 daily costs as little as $1 per week-yet it could cut your breast cancer risk by 80 percent, say researchers at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Turns out when this essential nutrient latches on to suspicious breast cells, it forces them to behave like perfectly normal cells instead!
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.